Spotlight on Florida: Hurricane Charley

Ten years ago Florida experienced four major hurricane: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jean. I seem to be a magnet for hurricanes when I’m on vacation. In August of 2004 my family took off to visit family in Florida. When we encountered the beautiful, big waves from tropical storm Bonnie I thought “here I go once again enjoying a hurricane”.

By the time we arrived at my nieces the next day she said “you got your wish for a hurricane.”

I said “I know. We just came through Bonnie.”

She replied “No! There’s another coming and it’s bigger.”

I didn’t think too much about it. Most of the storms I’d encountered were a category 1 or 2 but within a few days my hurricane chasing spirit changed. We expected a category 2 hurricane to make landfall 70 miles north in Tampa. Two hours before Charley hit the forecast changed. It was upgraded to a category 4 and landfall would now be Port Charlotte, the city where we were staying.

I’d experienced a category 2 hurricane in 1991, Hurricane Bob. The destruction was bad but nothing like what I saw with Charley. We weren’t prepared: roads were closed, shelters full, and supplies gone. We hurriedly did as much as we can to secure the home. in the end we only lost the contents of one room. But that’s wasn’t the case elsewhere in the city.

Tornadoes ripped away homes, businesses and stores. We are such geographic creatures. I remember people calling radio stations trying to find their homes. There was so much destruction, so many landmarks gone, people couldn’t find their way home from the shelters. Our electric was out for a week and we were the lucky ones.

I don’t chase hurricanes anymore but I did move to Florida. Maybe since I’m a resident and not a tourist my hurricane days are over. My family has been here since 2006 and there’s been no major storm yet. Got any wood to knock on? It’s still early as September has had the greatest number of storms in Florida.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 22

Just in time for the height of hurricane season, this photo brings back memories of Hurricane Bob and demonstrates that he didn’t know how to read. Because if he did this sailboat would have been parked someplace else. Or maybe he just didn’t care.

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Englewood Beach, West Yarmouth “Cape Cod”, Mass

Hurricane Bob 1991


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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Signs

Signs on house to the left are from FEMA and the New Orleans Fire Department indicating the dangerous conditions of this house. This photo was taken in January 2010, more than 4 years after Hurricane Katrina. The house to the right has been repaired but as you can see not everything is 100% back to normal. 


Where does that sign belong, which way am I to turn?? This photo was taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley (2004). Many sign as well as landmarks were gone or destroyed. I remember many people contacting the radio station trying to find their home because with no geographic references many people, especially those new to the Port Charlotte area, couldn’t find their homes. Hurricane Charley_0006

When I first saw this scene I had to laugh. The sign says “No boat trailer parking”. Doesn’t say you can’t park your boat there, right? But perhaps Hurricane Bob (1991) can’t read. What the photo doesn’t show are the hundreds of boats destroyed along the shore of Lewis Bay, Cape Cod.

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On a lighter note…my girls at the Twins Festival, Twinsburg Ohio. Going to SeaWorld was the highlight of the trip. As life moves on, things may change, my girls are grown and we don’t attend the festival anymore but even sadder is that SeaWorld has closed.

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Check out this and other challenges at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge